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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 12 April 2018) . . Page.. 1347 ..


staff who will work closely with stakeholders to prevent acts being perpetrated which would otherwise compromise the security and good order of the facility. An additional two custodial officers will be rostered per day to assist in implementing intelligence-driven security activities.

There are some other issues that I would like to quickly touch on today from my Greens perspective, as there are a number of investments in this budget review that we think are worth noting and remarking on in the allocation. Members would be aware that the drug and alcohol court is of keen interest to the Greens. It was a key part of our justice election platform and was subsequently included in the parliamentary agreement. We believe that it is another important step in changing the way we treat people coming into our justice system.

The Greens want to see drug and alcohol addiction problems being treated as health issues, not as criminal justice issues. Clearly, community safety must also be an important factor, but as Corrections Minister, where I see the week-to-week arrival of new detainees in our jail, I think it is important that we as a government move away from 20th century or perhaps even 19th century solutions to crime and work harder to address underlying issues. The drug and alcohol court is one solution towards this end, and this funding will take us one step closer by enabling the final necessary stages of development to occur.

Incarceration can have harmful effects on individuals and their families, and often the underlying reasons for using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate are overlooked. This court will provide an opportunity for people to get back on track, get the support they need to do that and hopefully go on to lead a full life, participating positively in the community.

I would also like to remark on the funding for the Reconciliation Day program. The Greens are really pleased that this budget review provides this funding for the ACT’s first Reconciliation Day preparations and organisation for what will be an important new commemoration next month. This is an important opportunity to shine a spotlight on reconciliation and to tell the story of the true history of Australia.

I am also pleased to see funding for a supplementary 24 paramedics and two new ambulances for the ACT Ambulance Service. Having more ambulance officers means faster response times and a sense in the community that the service will be there when they need it. It particularly addresses the demand of a growing population in Canberra, which, right across the city, is creating new challenges that the government needs to respond to.

My colleague Ms Le Couteur will make a number of other comments shortly, but, in conclusion, the Greens will be supporting these supplementary appropriation bills today.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.07): As my colleague mentioned, the Greens will be supporting this appropriation bill. Mr Rattenbury has spoken on his ministerial responsibilities and some of the crossbench items the Greens have a keen interest in. I will speak on some other important initiatives.


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